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International SOTA Activity day or contest. Does one exist?

Subject line says it all. If it does not exist, is there intention\desire to create one in a near future?

73, Igor UA9CDC

Hi Igor, every day is a SOTA activity day! There are few if any days that a SOTA activation does not occur somewhere around the world. In terms of heightened activity levels, weekends usually see a lot more activity than weekdays.

On the contest side of things, given SOTA is inherently not a contest, I cannot see any contests occurring. There are however challenges that run over defined time periods - have a look at previous challenges for an idea of what has previously occurred. There are also some activities like the AM mode weekend conducted earlier this year.


Hi Matt,
I see some advantages in creating International Sota Activity Day (whatever you call it).

  1. This will be predefined high activity day (much higher then ordinary weekend)
  2. This will increase a probability of S2S QSO
  3. This will gain more popularity for the program amongst those who does not know about it.
  4. This will increase probability of working new summits for all the hunters.
    After all the program has a lot of similarities with IOTA, RDA etc programs that have their own contest which only helps these programs.
    Why don’t we discuss this to get opinions of other huntet=rs and activators?
    I would argue withj your statement that SOTA inherently not a contest. I think it is. You have points for QSO. You have awards. You have challenges. So I think it a contest spread over long period of time. There are national SOTA activity days. So I do not see a reason not to create International version. If there is relactance to call it contest, then call it something else. But I have a feeling that creating high activity day would be interesting and beneficial to many.

73, Igor UA9CDC

If you regard SOTA as a contest, then so must be DXCC!

A slight problem with an activity day is that SOTA is truly world wide so will the activity day be the local day or will it be based on GMT? How will it work to increase S2S when some parts of the world are activating whilst others are asleep in bed?:grinning:


I fully agree. There are so many activators at a time some days, that there’s almost no time to go and chase them all.


It is indeed. CQWW contest is the one where you can do 5B DXCC in 48 hours.
DXCC is also world wide. Is there a problem? IMHO 24 hours activity day will allow everybody choose the best periods of time for operation.

I have checked SOTA watch and considering that some of the activations are on VHF\UHF, some others are from other hemisphere and on the bands where there is no propagation for us, the rest of the activity is really not that much to call “High”. Having said, that it is all relative. I see there is no support for the idea at all so I will not continue.

There has been a North America SOTA Weekend. It is usually in September or October. The weather is a bit cooler in the southern US by then, but the snow hasn’t started farther north.

This year, it is Sep. 10-11, which is the same weekend as the ARRL VHF Contest. The extra activity from VHF mountaintoppers is handy. It is also a good way to tell people about SOTA.



SOTA’s birthday is March 2nd. It is traditional to get out and activate then or on the nearest weekend.


Thank you Wunder. Handy to know that.

73, Igor UA9CDC

On the contrary, there is support for the idea: it’s just that moving from the idea stage to the implementation stage usually requires someone to step up and run with it. We actually have a few activity days that are “SOTA MT sponsored” for lack of a better term - like the AM weekend on April 1, the Minimalist day, and the Cycling Weekend. All roughly a few months apart to allow some breathing room for everyone.

If you want to put together a SOTA Activity Day, reach out to the SOTA MT with your idea - we will certainly review it in the right spirit. We just don’t really have enough time ourselves to put one together.


CQWW may be DXCC-connected, but you can chase DXCC without touching CQWW or its ilk.

One thing I like about SOTA is that it is NOT a contest. (I even dislike the competitive element of the challenges enough that I actively avoided the 6/10m one.)

To improve the opportunities for DX SOTA contacts you might want to extend the “day” so that it starts at local mid-day (say) in the eastern-most SOTA association and ends at local mid-day in the western-most SOTA association. Or something…

SOTA’s Birthday has already been mentioned as an obvious annual occasion, but given SOTA’s worldwide distribution, adding another date six (or so) months late might make sense.

…but please don’t make it a contest. Thanks.

73, Rick M0LEP

Indeed. March the 2nd most of the summits here are not accessible. Too much snow.
73, Igor UA9CDC

The NA SOTA activity weekend is not contest-like at all, just an agreed on time to get more people out. It is a weekend instead of a day to give more chances for people to participate.